At the risk of having my “Good Little Episcopalian” credentials revoked (if I ever had any to begin with), I find Advent a tiresome downer. Oh, I’m fine with colorful Advent calendars and the wreaths with the candles; at least there’s a little twinkle of fun found there. But the insular, reflective, “ooh-isn’t-this-waiting-stuff-spiritual?” part does not work for me.
I’m convinced that Advent was created by and for introverts. All that soul-digging anticipation is perfect for folks who thrive at exploring their thoughts and feelings all by themselves.
But for us extroverts (I know you’re surprised to find out that Shorty PJs is an extrovert), hard-core Advent just sucks the energy out of this joyous time of year. Oh, wait. I’m not supposed to be joyous yet, am I? Must wait until 12:00am December 25, right?
Now, it’s plain as all git-out that Christmas was divinely inspired by and for extroverts. Think about it - angels/shepherds/wise men gathered in joy and praise, carol-singing, parties, family gatherings, even shopping – people, people, people everywhere. Personally, I reflect better with other people to, er, reflect off of/with, so the wonderful, wild celebration that is Christmas suits me to a T. It’s a birthday, for goodness’ sake!
I do not need a period of waiting. I’ve waited all year, casting an expectant eye toward this blessed season throughout glorious springs and long, hot summers. I am no less aware that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus and of how that birth impacts my life than I would be if I tried to spend four long weeks contemplating it without Christmas trees, carols, and gatherings with family and friends. Shoot, life can be gloomy and soul-searching enough without imposing the stuff on those of us ready to celebrate something marvelous.
So, go ahead, all you theologian/clergy-types – slam me for eschewing four weeks of solemn reflection in quiet solitude without the glow of Christmas lights. I am not one bit bothered. The little tree in my office is all a-twinkle, and it gladdens my weary heart every time I look at it.
In the words of the great Auntie Mame (and Jerry Herman): “We need a little Christmas! Right this very minute!”